Strange Maine

Founded 2005! Freaks. Weirdos. Unmapped roads. Whispering rocks. Deadening fog. Ghost pirates. Lonely islands. THINGS in the WOODS. Home of Stephen King & Glenn Chadbourne. A place where the 4 seasons really know how to live. Maine: the way life should be! This site is a nexus for conversation about Maine's unique strangeness, people who love it, people who have experienced it, & people who are intrigued by it. History, mysteries, legends, current events, cryptozoology, & more.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday: No opening of The Green Hand


Hello everyone --
Due to bureaucratic delays, we are unable to open The Green Hand Bookshop as planned on Sunday. Please bear with us, those of you who hoped to come along, and we will open as soon as possible.

I'll be at the shop working regardless, so if any of you do show up, you are certainly welcome to pop in and get a sneak preview of the grounds! :)

Many thanks again for all your support, and we'll see you soon. We are still planning to have our gala ribbon-cutting next Friday at 6:00!

Regards,
Michelle

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween !

A photo for the season, from the Archives !
This was taken by a Portland Press-Herald photographer in 1939.


The long arms of the law were strong enough to bag 'dem bones!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Did "IT" freak you out? Tell us!


Christoper Gray over at the Portland Phoenix is writing an article about how the movie/miniseries version of Stephen King's "It" warped him as a youngster, and he would like to hear how it affected you as well! Read on...
Basically I’m looking for anecdotes of nightmares, enduring trauma, or even just fond memories of the miniseries of Stephen King’s It. (Aired in 1990, cult classic on VHS!) If anyone wants to get in touch with their thoughts (or any further questions), they can come to cgray@phx.com.
Christopher has kindly given us a list of some "It" elements with which to stir our subconscious cauldrons:

  • Chinese food

  • Beethoven’s Fur Elise

  • “You’ll all float too!”

  • Blood, drains, showerheads

  • Sewer

  • Spiders

  • Paper boats

  • Clowns



  • He's hoping to hear from people by end of Friday, though he might be able to sneak in some comments that come through Saturday/Sunday as well. So get typing! :) Send your responses to his email at cgray@phx.com !

    More food for remembering:

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    Monday, October 19, 2009

    EVENT: Live Halloween Radio Horror!

    Well, in the midst of getting ready for the opening of my bookstore, The Green Hand, it has also been brought to my attention that this is that most wonderful time of the year -- the Halloween season! With this comes a veritable flood of delectable events to tempt you with. One of these comes with my highest recommendation -- the live on-air performance of spooky stories by FinalRune Productions!

    Fred Greenhalgh writes, "As you can imagine, I've been furiously trying to prepare for the Halloween show, collecting a ghastly array of sound effects gear from squishy balls to honking horns and boiling mounds of spaghetti to simulate the sound of gnawing on brains. It's going to be a ghoulishly awesome night!"

    By gum and by golly, you better believe it! The past Halloween productions by FinalRune have been well worth the listen, but this year brings a new crop of tales including one by our friend, Lewiston horror writer and crime reporter Mark LaFlamme, and a host of other dainties with which to shiver your pretty little spines.

    This Halloween, FinalRune Productions teams up with WMPG and members from the Mad Horse Theater Company for a live spooktravanganza at the University of Southern Maine, benefiting the WMPG PowerUp! campaign.

    This event is rare in that it will be performed live, in front of an audience, as it is being broadcast on October, 31, 2009 from 7:00 to 9:00PM. (Buy tickets to the event here: www.finalrune.com/live-halloween-show-2009)

    The 2-hr live radio event will feature original work from writers Fred Greenhalgh, Mark LaFlamme, Kevin Anderson, and Roger Gregg.

    Stories Include:
  • The Ghost Behind the Black Door by Roger Gregg
    A couple from the city moves to a mansion in the countryside only to find that things are not all as they expect... a spoof on the classic horror meme.

  • Leaving You is Hell by Fred Greenhalgh
    A dark retelling of the myth of Orpheus inspired by the classic jazz tune "St James Infirmary." A man in New Orleans is doomed to keep falling in love with the same woman and seducing her to her death.

  • Bone Lake by Mark LaFlamme
    The ice fishing is going well on Bone Lake, until a man comes from the winter's night looking for a very strange catch.

  • Third Shift by Kevin Anderson
    A company will sell you very efficient workers at a bargain price. Just don't send the living to check out their work.


  • You can also tune in from anywhere around the world. The show will be broadcast locally on 90.9/104.1 FM in Greater Portland, Maine, and streamed online -- just click here to listen along: www.wmpg.org.

    There's also a Facebook Event page for this show.

    And if you REALLY can't make it out, you'll be able to hear it podcast on Radio Drama Revival.

    Can't wait until then?? Whet your appetite with some precursors... of doom! ... by visiting the Radio Drama Revival website for podcasts of more October treats.

    October 22 – “Sorry, Wrong Number” by FinalRune Productions
    FinalRune Productions and The Mad Horse Theater Company team up for their second collaboration tale, a production of the radio classic by Lucille Fletcher. A woman overhears two men plotting a murder over the telephone, and very quickly her whole world starts to unravel.

    October 29 – “Listening in the Dark” by the Icebox Radio Theater
    Three tales from Northern Minnesota to chill you to the bone. A writer’s notes from a haunted house turn against. A man gets haunted in his fishing shack. Santa Claus may not be who you thought he was. Jeff Adams shows off his incredible skill in the darker arts in this haunting hour-long special.

    What is PowerUp? WMPG's PowerUP! Campaign seeks to raise $250,000 to upgrade the signal strength of the station's main transmitter and move it to a better location.

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    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    EVENT: Documenting New England Ruination


    If you are as big a fan of books like Abandoned New England as I am, you'll be sure to show up for this upcoming Maine Historical Society event!

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    WHAT:The Maine Historical Society invites you to... Ruin: Photographs of a Vanishing America by Brian Vanden Brink, Photographer
    WHEN:Tuesday, October 20, 12:00-1:00pm
    WHERE: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME
    COST: Free and open to the public.
    FMI: For more information call (207)774-1822, or e-mail info@mainehistory.org, or visit www.mainehistory.org

    Join the photographer to explore his newly published collection of images. Vanden Brink's photographs capture the gradual demise of churches, mills, bridges, grain elevators, storefronts, and other iconic American structures that were built - and ultimately abandoned. His collection considers the value and significance of these sites, past and present, and grants permanence to places that may soon vanish forever.

    Vanden Brink is an award-winning architectural photographer whose work regularly appears in Down East Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Architectural Digest, Coastal Living, and New England Home Magazine, among many other publications. This is his third book.

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    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Call for actors: American Werewolf in Freeport!

    Will Stewart of Running Over Productions has the following announcement to make:
    Fall means it's time for apple crisp, hot cider, romping through the fallen leaves, and...

    ...being eaten by a werewolf and joining a horde of walking undead!!!

    This Halloween, Freeport Community Players and Gaslight Theater are presenting the WORLD PREMIER of the stage version of John Landis' AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, and they need extras to play non-speaking roles as zombies as well as a few other roles. The shows are October 30 and 31 at 8pm in at the Freeport Performing Arts Center in Freeport, Maine.

    If interested in taking part in this production, or for further details, please contact Tim Ryan at 415-6251 or timryan65@roadrunner.com

    This is the first time ever that this script is being performed live on stage, and it's going to be a blast!!
    For more information about the production, either to attend it or to see what's going on with it so far, check out the American Werewolf production's Facebook page!

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    Monday, October 05, 2009

    Haunting Attack in Lewiston Cemetery

    Photo of Riverside Cemetery by Dan Bernard, used by permission of the artist.

    This article originally appeared in the October 2008 issue of the Strange Maine Gazette.

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    It’s not uncommon for me to collect new and interesting stories from friends and strangers as I make my rounds with fresh issues of the Gazette. Earlier this year, Matt told me of his terrifying experience in one of his hometown’s cemeteries. He was deadly serious when he told me this story, which is one of the reasons why, come Halloween time, it came to mind again. He was kind enough to take the time to sit down and record his account for me.
    About a year ago (Saturday, October 20th, 2007, I believe), my brother Mike, his now ex-fiance, and I decided to take a walk in the Riverside cemetery near my old apartment in Lewiston. It was a crisp Autumn afternoon, sunny with a slight nip in the air -- nice walking weather.

    We entered the cemetery at the Summer Street entrance and took the first right, down past the winter storage sheds, then took a left along the edge of the hill, toward the river. We stopped at a nice, quiet plot with a small stone bench. I picked up an empty 24-pack of Natural Ice beer that some bozo had no doubt dumped the night before, and put it in the trash.

    After a minute or two, we continued on our way and turned right along the side of the river. A leashless dog came running toward us, followed a moment later by its owner. The owner caught up to her dog just as it started to squat down and relieve itself in front of someone’s tombstone.

    As soon as the owner was out of earshot, I commented to Mike and Nikki about how disrespectful it was to let one’s dog defecate on a burial plot, and not even have the decency to clean it up. They agreed. This led me to mention the kicked-in stained glass windows on the doors to the Libby Mausoleum.

    Neither Mike nor Nikki had ever seen the Mausoleum, so I decided to lead them up to the secluded glen where it lies. Almost immediately after we got there, I started to get the feeling that we weren’t welcome.

    There was a tension building in the air, and I felt like someone was glaring at me. Nikki was picking up on it too, and decided to attempt to communicate with the presence. I started to get really cold, and told Mike and Nikki that I was getting some really bad vibes off the place. When Nikki lit up a cigarette, I felt a shift come over the air, like it had become charged, and I felt my stomach bottom out.

    I had turned around and was actually walking away from the crypt when I heard Nikki yelp, followed by a loud cracking noise. I turned just in time to see Nikki running towards me as the top half of a birch tree snapped off and came crashing down where we had been standing. As the shock of what had just happened started to sink in, I became acutely aware that the presence I had felt at the mausoleum was now bearing down on the three of us.

    I started to run as hard as I could, occasionally looking over my shoulder to see if Mike and Nikki were okay. I never actually saw anything tangible, but still got the sense that, whoever or whatever it was, was not very far behind me until I had passed the winter storage shed.

    The chill I felt while at the crypt lingered with me for the next day or so. I couldn’t stay warm. Nikki also could not keep warm, and she claimed that she could still feel the presence lingering about her for a few hours after the encounter.
    Ironically, when I went online to see if I could come up with any imagery of the Libby Mausoleum, the only thing I found was a photo on Flickr.com by an acquaintance of mine, which was accompanied by the tale of an injury she incurred while trying to take a photo of the mausoleum. Uncanny, you say to yourself, as did I.

    She pulled something in her leg while climbing the short slope to the tomb’s entryway, and the self-timer on the camera snapped its shot as she grabbed at her leg in pain. She comments, “I heard, did not feel, heard, a huge crack and then snap. For a fraction of a second I though my calf had cramped up. Then the pain came!”

    So is the Libby Mausoleum cursed? It seems more likely that perhaps it harbors a jealous and protective guardian spirit that is sick of vandals and even the most innocent gawkers intruding upon the peace of the mausoleum’s location.

    The disrespect shown to Riverside Cemetery’s “guests” (as their website refers to the buried dead, see http://riverside.marshallsonline.org) is not uncommon in Maine’s graveyards, but to those who find solace in these quiet places, and to those like myself who use them as a source in field research, this behavior is effectively destroying connections with our history. Riverside’s caretakers have openly announced a $500 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the culprits of the latest wave of Riverside Cemetery vandalism.

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    Thursday, October 01, 2009

    EVENT: Strange Maine artshow opens Friday!


    WHAT: The Art of Strange Maine exhibition @ Sanctuary Tattoo
    WHEN: Opening Reception: Friday, October 2nd, 6:00-9:00pm
    WHERE: Sanctuary, 31 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME 04101
    FMI: (207)828-8866, chris[at]sanctuarytattoo.com or sanctuarytattoo.com

    Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11-7
    Show runs October 2nd – November 4th, 2009

    Sanctuary Tattoo is pleased to present THE ART OF STRANGE MAINE from October 2ND to November 4TH, a group show curated by Michelle Souliere, editor of the Strange Maine Gazette, with a special focus on the work of eleven artists: Tom Brown, Michael Connor, Jay Cornell, Brendan Evans, Morbideus Goodell, Jason Gorcoff, Frank Navarro, Zac Perkins, and Dave Stelmok. A small selection of other artists will also be participating. Work ranges from pen and ink drawings, to oil paintings, to carvings made from found wood, and beyond.

    The theme of this show is the unique strangeness of Maine in all its forms.

    What is Strange Maine?
    Weirdos. Unmapped roads. Whispering rocks. Deadening fog. Ghost pirates. Lonely islands. THINGS in the WOODS. Home of Stephen King & Glenn Chadbourne. A place where the four seasons really know how to live. Maine: the way life should be! Strange Maine is made up of Maine's unique strangeness, people who love it, people who have experienced it, & people who are intrigued by it. History, mysteries, legends, cryptozoology, & more.

    What inspires Strange Maine?
    It is the MYSTERY of Maine that sends a reanimating frisson through our veins and lights our eyes to see in the dim ruins again. Mystery – the perfume of “strange.” Mystery is, by its very nature, that which cannot be fully understood. We need this. We need mystery in our lives. Mystery is our elixir. The job of these artists has been to draw this elixir out and present it in a visual form for viewers to explore on their own.

    FURTHER ARTIST INFORMATION and IMAGES:

    --Tom Brown: Copper Age Comics, New England Gothic comic
    -- Michael Connor: Coelacanth zine
    -- Jay Cornell: recently seen in “The Funnies” show at Whitney Art Works
    -- Brendan Evans: http://www.kraag.org/strange/
    -- Morbideus Goodell: http://morbideusgallery.tripod.com/
    http://www.postmortem-prod.com/
    -- Jason Gorcoff http://jgorcoff.blogspot.com/
    -- Frank Navarro found wood sculpture
    -- Zac Perkins http://www.zacperkins.com/

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